When Gamu Nhengu set out to make her debut album, she took her time. 'I wanted to make something that would last,' she says, 'something timeless, classic and classy - like a Chanel suit'.
Gamu turned to the 1960s for inspiration, mixing it with the mainstream pop and R&B she grew up with to create a sound she dubs Nu: Vintage.
The first single to be taken from the forthcoming album, ‘A Love Like This’, ‘Shake The Room’ provides the perfect introduction to Gamu’s Nu: Vintage sound. This infectious and sassy anthem in the making will be released on 14th April by Scottish based recording label, GSound Records.
Gamu’s life-story is packed full of the stuff films are made of, with a journey that has taken her from the capital of Zimbabwe, where she was born, to a small town in Scotland where she now lives with her mum and two younger brothers. It’s been an eventful first 21 years, and Gamu was singing all the way.
Gamu spent her childhood in Harare. Her father died when she was young, and with the economic strain in Zimbabwe, her mother relocated to Scotland to study nursing, where Gamu and her brothers later joined her in the small town of Clackmannanshire.
The family soon became part of the community and Gamu began singing in church, and performing solos as part of a bigger gospel choir at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.
A bright and hard-working student, Gamu planned to go to university to study literature and philosophy after school. She was offered a place at Edinburgh University, but fees were too steep for her newly qualified mum to meet.
It was at this point that she decided to audition for the X Factor. Gamu didn’t get far in the 2010 series. There was an outcry when she was sent home after boot camp, but her whole X Factor experience was over in a matter of weeks.
Yet when she got home people were camping outside her flat, sending her flowers, letters and record contracts. She eventually signed to a Scottish independent label GSound Records, because it felt ‘like a family’.
It took over a year to finish the album. Working with producers - Jud Mahoney (Usher), Gordy Goudie (Echo & The Bunnymen), and John McLaughlin (Lamont Dozier), she recorded a set of catchy, heartfelt pop songs with a retro twist that draw on a variety of musical influences that resonate feminine strength, (from T.L.C, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner to The Noisettes, Lianne La Havas and Coco Sumner).
From the perky party anthem ‘Shake The Room’ to the lush, emotional ballad ‘Teardrop Serenade’, this is contemporary pop music performed with real soul and total commitment.
This is a girl who has always been determined to have a voice, and her real story is only just beginning.
Gamu’s debut single ‘Shake the Room’ will be released by GSound Records on 14th April 2013, followed by debut album (‘A Love Like This’) early summer 2013.